Vivid paintwork and stickers are as much a part of Porsche Motorsport as the boxer engine. While the Porsche 917 race cars featured notable liveries from Martini and Gulf, there are several others that are iconic on their own. The company recently looked back on five historical color combinations from the various 917 models.
Porsche 917-001 with green and white color scheme – The first is a true number 1: the car with the body number 917-001 was a demonstration car completed just two days before the Geneva Motor Show. To mark the 50th anniversary of the 917, 3D technology was used to restore this model to its original condition, complete with the green and white color scheme.
Porsche 917/20 “The Pink Pig” – Better known under the nickname “The Pink Pig”, the 917/20 racing car was more than 24 centimetres wider and underwent further modifications to improve aerodynamics. The reworked body inspired the designers to give the car a pink finish and apply markings that show cuts of meat. Porsche caused a sensation at Le Mans in 1971 with the Pink Pig. It was the fastest car during the pre-race qualification session, although it was totally untested. But during the main race, the 917/20 running in fifth position dropped out shortly before the end due to an accident.
Porsche 917-042 ‘long-tail’ with Martini livery – This color scheme also dates back to 1971: the Porsche 917 ‘long-tail’ with Martini livery, chassis 042. One year earlier this racing car — at that time still bearing a psychedelic green and purple stripe pattern — retired at Le Mans due to engine failure. Unfortunately, it was unable to cover the full distance on the Sarthe circuit in the following year either. Nevertheless, this 917 model was the first racing car to set a record average speed of over 240 km/h at Le Mans.
Porsche 917 in Gulf livery – This Porsche is a true Hollywood star: the 917 in Gulf livery. The light blue and orange finish became famous mainly due to its appearance in the Steve McQueen film “Le Mans”: to this day it has remained one of the most valuable models.
Porsche 917 in Salzburg Red – The top rung in the ranking is occupied by the Salzburg Red 917 in that claimed the first overall victory for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970. Based on the colors of the Austrian flag, Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood were behind the wheel of the winning number 23 distinctive red and white liveried car entered by Porsche Salzburg. Since Porsche secured its first victory in the French endurance event, the German manufacturer has achieved a record total of 19 overall Le Mans victories to date.
[Source: Porsche AG]